Clear Lake (Finger Lake) Habitat Restoration Project

St. Paul District

Pool 5, Upper Mississippi River, Miles 751 - 753, Wabasha County, Minnesota, Congressional District: MN - 2


  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
  • MNDNR 


Since completion of the Finger Lakes habitat project, sedimentation has continued to occur, and depths in the lakes generally range from two to four feet at average water elevations. A distributary channel of the Zumbro River delivered sediment-laden waters into the Finger Lakes until a project sponsored by the Minnesota DNR and USFWS redirected the majority of the flow and suspended solids away from the area. The Finger Lakes HREP resulted in flow conditions that met the dissolved oxygen and temperature objectives of the original design. However, after 10 years of post-project monitoring, it was determined that the lack of water depth reduces the quality of the fisheries habitat, especially in Clear, Schmoker’s, and Third Lakes. Deeper water in all the lakes would significantly improve fish habitat, especially over-wintering habitat, and would contribute to the overall improvement of the entire Finger Lakes ecosystem.

Quick Facts

  • Approximate Acres: 321
  • State(s) Covered: Minnesota
  • Land Ownership: USFWS
  • Management Agency: USFWS
  • Management Authority: Refuge 


  • Dredge portions of three lakes to a depth of six to seven feet below the average project pool elevation.


  • The Fact Sheet was completed September 2010.